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Davenport Officials Seek Funds For Food Pantry

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/23/24 | 2/23/24

Highway Equipment & Sand Shead Needed

By Mary A. Crisafulli

DAVENPORT - Davenport Town Council members discussed ways to increase monies for the food pantry at their regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 20. The pantry is owned by the town, but the Davenport United Methodist Church volunteers handle its day-to-day operations. The pantry is located at 11790 State Highway 23 next to the town hall.

Councilmember Jackie Losie is seeking a grant opportunity through Walmart which offers funds of $250 up to $5,000. Losie said this could significantly support the food pantry if awarded. Operators encourage individuals to donate healthier options to the pantry. The grant would provide the ability to purchase foods individuals are seeking. The most popular sought-after food items include meats, canned goods like fruit, pasta, pasta sauce, and macaroni and cheese. Currently, pantry operators develop a menu of items for individuals to order from which is dictated by the county.

Councilmember Mark Miller reminded the board and others that many different types of meat can be donated including venison and unprocessed beef. He mentioned that dairy and beef farmers could donate cows that might not be 100% up to standards for their processing needs.

Losie said many of the auctioned Delaware County Fair animals are donated to the pantry for processing.

In seeking other ways to fundraise for the facility, Losie suggested allowing one day a week or month for the pantry to collect recyclables as donations. She said the local 4-H club collects recyclables and at times has raised $500 to $600 from one donation.

Supervisor Timothy "Tim" Kelso contacted a meat market in Schenectady that used to have several donated items. The owner informed Kelso that they could get cheap bulk food items through C&S Wholesale Grocers in Brattleboro Vermont. Kelso is seeking additional information since the facility is roughly 100 miles away but said this could be a good option to save funds.

Losie also mentioned that the church volunteers would like the facility to be open more often, but there is not enough staffing available. Currently, the facility is only open from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on the third Friday and 10 a.m. until noon on the third Saturday of each month.

For more information on the food pantry in Davenport call 607-746-1685.

In another discussion, Highway Superintendent Fred Utter was authorized to purchase a screener machine for $15,000. A screener sifts out oversized particles in sand and gravel and can divide items into specific particle size ratio requirements. Gravel and sand are used for road maintenance purposes.

Delivery of the item could cost between $3,500 and $4,000, said Utter. The department spends roughly $4,200 annually on renting screener equipment.

Councilmember Trevor Bell was in favor of the purchase stating it would pay itself off in roughly five years. 

Utter also requested council members to start discussing the possibility of building a sand shed to protect sand from inclement weather conditions. Utter said the sand can become very muddy in rain and snow. He is hoping for a 70' x 24' x 100' structure with a concrete floor and walls and a metal roof. A cost estimate for design plans from Forbes Engineering of Oneonta was $20,000. Forbes constructed the salt shed which Utter said he is happy with. 

Kelso will reach out to state and federal representatives to discuss ways to fund the project. 

Miller suggested holding a barbeque fundraising event and inviting state and federal representation.

The council will continue to seek options for the undertaking.

In other business:

Losie was permitted access to the town bank accounts and ability to sign checks as the deputy supervisor.

The town assessors and clerk will attend a three-day training conference in Albany starting April 21. At the conference, they will obtain their notary recertification for $60 each.

Kelso rolled over two CDs (certificates of deposit) of $50,000 and $36,000. CDs require the town to keep funds in a bank savings account for a specified amount of time to earn interest. Withdrawing funds early typically results in a penalty fee.

The town transfer station sold 84.83 tons of scrap metal. The monthly transfer station report will now include a breakdown of monies earned from scrap metal.

The next town council meeting is scheduled Tuesday, Mar. 19, at 7 p.m.

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